Be wary of any financial professional with letters after his or her name, especially those who designate themselves as a ‘senior advisor’.
According to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office of Older Americans, Americans over 60 make up 15 percent of the population, but are estimated to account for 30 percent of investment fraud victims. Older people may have money they have saved for retirement, and cognitive decline may make them more vulnerable. They are also more likely to rely on recommendations from someone with a “senior advisor” credential.
That’s the problem. There are currently more than 50 “senior certification” designations in use. Who can tell the difference between A.R.A., an A.R.P.C., a C.S.A. or a C.R.F.A.?
The Bureau estimates that “tens of thousands” of professionals, including financial advisers, brokers and insurance agents, use some sort of senior credential. That means older adults will continue to be vulnerable to bad advice and even outright fraud.
Initials tell you nothing about a financial advisors training . Some credentials require a specific level of coursework, but others don’t require any.You can find out about the background of thousands of registered investment advisors at http://www.sec.gov/answers/iapd.htm.